Derelict house in Tolworth transformed to give homeless family a home
A derelict house in Fullers Avenue in Tolworth has been transformed into a disability-friendly home for a homeless family.
This transformation is the result of a partnership project between Kingston Council, Cromwood Housing and the property owner.
The council worked with the landowner, whose property had been unoccupied for 14 years, and Cromwood Housing, a social housing developer, who purchased the house and brought it up to standard for a family in need.
Plans were prepared and planning obtained as part of the joint project, with Cromwood Housing funding the building work and the completed home being leased back to the council at an affordable rent.
The two bedroom house was extended to four bedrooms, including a ground floor bedroom and ensuite bathroom, kitchen/diner and living room which are all fully accessible by wheelchair.
Cllr Cathy Roberts, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing at Kingston Council, said:
“Through collaborative working and innovative thinking, we’ve turned a privately-owned derelict house into a home for a family with special needs. We are committed to continuing to bring empty homes in the borough back into use for local people and will be looking for further opportunities to work collaboratively to make a difference.
“The result is fantastic and I hope that the family are very happy in their new home.”
Abdus Saleh, Head of Investment and Development at Cromwood Group, added:
"We are constantly exploring unique and innovative opportunities to work closely with London councils with a view to providing bespoke housing solutions. Fullers Avenue in Tolworth epitomises this approach.
"We believe resurrecting empty properties around London could provide a valuable source of new homes for councils. Cromwood Housing has recently launched a £2.5m Empty Property Resurrection Fund for our projects across the country, which is testament to this belief."
On moving into her new home with her family, Alda Maria said:
“We are so happy here. Having all of the main living space, as well as a bedroom and a bathroom on the ground floor makes our family life a lot easier. It’s been truly life changing.”
Kingston, Merton and Sutton councils have teamed up to secure £1 million in government funding to help households avoid crisis and prevent people from becoming homeless. The funds will help to develop a range of new, innovative approaches that will radically reshape the way homeless prevention is delivered in partnership with the voluntary sector. For more information on homelessness and housing advice, visit the council’s website.